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Relax just do it July 1, 2010

This last year has been really great! Traveling around the country a little more than I usually do, I’ve met and chatted with a lot of knitters in different parts of the country, from different parts of the country.

What’s really intriguing to me right now, as the temperatures climb back up the scale here in the Big Windy, is what Warm Weather Knitters are doing and making. I’m putting the finishing touches on some wool-work for the Fall collection and I’m just more and more curious about those who knit in climates where wool would be INSANE because its making me more than a little crazy to touch the stuff right now! My knitting is usually different from others because I’m on an off-set deadline merry-go-round of releases where nothing is in-sync with what the weather is actually doing. Viva la mode!

But I still like to sneak in the occasional personal project and this I Know: Even though for a lot of the year in Chicago, we are overheated to compensate for the COLD, come summertime, we suddenly FREEZE ourselves indoors to compensate for whatever WARMTH is shining down on us outside (and, my friends, it fries). This IS one of our sweet mysteries of life!

What this means is that you can never be without something to protect yourself from the often sudden attack of the air conditioning; that we all need a little something to ward off the best intentions of over-zealous building managers everywhere!

A few weeks ago, I went to the Oriental Theatre to see “Billy Elliot” and proactively brought a cotton shrug with me to ward off the inevitable chill.

But how did I reallly end up wearing it? Over my shoulders like a stole! Even in its smaller size, it protected my bare arms (sleeveless to endure what was really going on Outside) inside the building enough to make the light bulb go on!

Why didn’t I have a Stole?

Having made only one shawl in my life, I’ve realized that perhaps they are not my cup-o-tea. But stoles? I’ve started (and flaked) on a couple. One stalled and disappeared back to stash because I made it too wide and it became oppressively heavy. It became this instead. The other is still in progress and I hope to re-catch the Muse at some point and finish it.

But what also dawned on me at the show (my mind was drifting a lot because there was a Big Barrel-Headed Guy sitting in front of me blocking my view for most of the performance and it was like listening to a radio show so I automatically began multi-tasking) was that I really liked what I’d made my shrug from: mercerized cotton.

So, to reward myself for the Marathon that is TNNA and releasing a Fall Collection, I got some more, this time in a sportweight: Elann “Lara” in a lovely lovely Navy Blue they call 308 Marine.


My plan? An urban, chic stole to wear over the collection of sleeveless dresses and looks already in the house. Will this translates to a little lace? Maybe a little texture?

And like being too rich or too thin, one cannot have too many stitch dictionaries…

I recently got this in the mail:
Vogue Knitting Stitchionary Volume 5

This is the 5th book in the Vogue Stitchionary series and I must say, it is my favorite! (And so nice of them to shoot some of the pictures in the same color that my yarn is! Heh!) This volume is packed full of gorgeous lace work.

The instructions include both charted and written out versions so the knitter can relate easily to their favorite presentation without fussing about.

I especially like the clear photography of the samples. Lately, and clue me in on why, some of the books I’ve seen have rather blurred, non-professional pictures – maybe the paper? maybe the post-processing? (in a recent one, all of the pictures had a weird yellow cast).

This edition has wonderful example pix that in many of the entries are a 4×4 swatch! The charts use standard, simple symbols with the same no-clutter look that I use on my charts: easy to read and legible. Unique stitches are explained and each entry has a stitch key right by its instructions, so there’s no waffling back and forth in the book trying to decipher the charts.

But my favorite thing is there’s quite a few renditions I have not seen before and that’s very nice. Well done Vogue!

If you would like to have a copy of this book, leave a comment saying hello below and we’ll draw a random winner on July 18!

192 responses to “Relax just do it July 1, 2010”

  1. Lisa says:

    I love when I see people ordering Elann yarns! It seems folks buy everywhere BUT there and I love many of their products! Rock on!

  2. helen says:

    Bonne…, Fantastic color ..Elann yarns are among the best. Can’t wait to see what you come up with for fall. You’re such an inspiration.

  3. Mandy says:

    Hello, I love it!

  4. Lois H. Davis says:

    lovely yarn………and I’d love a copy of the book!

  5. Seanna Lea says:

    I love my shrugs and shawls. I have one stole that I do not wear, but it isn’t because I don’t like it. I don’t wear it, because it is white and I don’t wear any white normally (made it for my wedding).

  6. Donna says:

    Hello! I’m on my second CeCe and think it is the perfect indoor cover up in the DC summer heat. I’ve been eyeing the lace volume of the Vogue Stitch dictionary and am thrilled at the chance to win a copy.

  7. Rebekah Pope says:

    I like making small shrugs and baby blankets this time of year. I would love the opportunity to win a copy of the Vogue Stitch dictionary. It is on my list of books to buy.

  8. Beth says:

    Cotton stole is a great idea!

  9. RebKnitz says:

    Oooh, ooh, lace!

  10. Kathleen says:

    It would work perfect in Michigan too! I’m wearing a sweater at my desk as we speak. Can’t wait to see the stole.

  11. kelly-ann (on ravelry) says:

    I should remember my small shawls more often when going out. It was so cold in the store yesterday that I couldn’t stop sneezing! It just feels funny to wear wool in July – cotton would be a great choice though.

  12. Kelly says:

    Well, it is hot here in Texas. Well, actually today is kind of nice. The remnants of Hurricane Alex have cooled things down a bit.

    I have been knitting a featherweight cardi just because of the tendency to overuse the AC around here. Very easy to carry around with you but warm enough to fend off the AC. I am also knitting Que Sera sweater in cotton, but the wool is still getting used for some other smaller projects. It hasn’t really bothered me to knit with wool in the summer, but we will see how I feel in August. :)

    I’d love a copy of the Vogue Stitch dictionary. As a newbie knitter I can use all the help I can get.

  13. Linda says:

    Hi there! I like the stole idea for chilly summer indoors. I look forward to seeing what you make!

  14. Janet says:

    I look forward to seeing what you design for a stole. Your designs are always intresting and make me consider new directions in my knitting.

  15. Ann says:

    Lovely colour! I really admire your work & blog – can’t wait to see more.

  16. Anna says:

    Hello, Chicago! I do love the stitch dictionaries, and yes indeedy I’d love to have this one. That is a gorgeous color in the Lara — sort of what my Mom used to call “spring navy” when we were all little & got dressed up in “spring navy” coats for Easter services. Four girls & one boy, and don’t you know she made the coats and dresses for all four of us girls! Makes me tired, just thinking about it.

  17. Gaile says:

    HI there! It’ll be interesting to see your stole design. Love the blue you chose (I looked at my Rav Stash the other day and blue seems to be heavily favoured)!

    I’m working away on Cerisara, and have to say it’s a brilliant design. It has me so intrigued that I only put it down long enough to pop onto the Rav forums and catch up on email.

    I love stitch dictionaries too, and agree you can’t have too many. I’d love to have the Vogue one in my collection! Very cool giveaway.

  18. Bethany says:

    OOh! I love that blue and it will make a lovely stole. I can’t wait to see it.

  19. Rose says:

    First off, I’m not sure I know the difference between a stole and a shawl? Is a stole more rectangular? Secondly, I’d love to win a copy of the book; I’ve heard only good things about it. Thanks for the opportunity!! And lastly, love the blue cotton, very good color. Can’t wait to see what you do with it!!

  20. Kathy says:

    I don’t currently own any stitch dictionaries.

    BTW – I miss the Chicago area, especially this time of the year. Sailing on Lake Michigan, biking, theater, shopping, restaurants and the wind that is always in your face.

  21. Melisa says:

    I love the idea of a stole to ward off the winter-like air conditioning! I can’t wait to see what you come up with in that beautiful color!

  22. Rita says:

    I can’t agree more, one can never have too many stitch dictionaries. Between projects when I can’t decide what I want to knit I’ll often grab one of my stitch dictionaries off the shelf and start playing around with different stitch patterns. I’m looking forward to seeing your stole and reading what you think about Elann “Lara”.

  23. I love stitch dictionaries, and this is one I don’t happen to have (yet). Pretty please? Pick me?

    (My, what a beautiful blue that is! I can hardly wait to see the result!)

  24. Linda M says:

    Hello! Thinking seriously about knitting a cotton CeCe for me for the rest of the summer – in the deep south we need light cotton sweaters against the a.c. until at least October!

  25. Sharon says:

    I would like to add lace to some otherwise basic projects, and the stitch dictionary would be a great resouce!

  26. Pam Huang says:

    I’m always up for a freebie. That blue yarn is beautiful and will look gorgeous in a lace pattern! Happy Knitting!

  27. Suzanne says:

    The blue is gorgeous. Lace stitch dictionarys are always great.

  28. Susan says:

    I have some Lara languishing in my stash, waiting for Just the Right Project. I’ve got my fingers crossed that this will be it. Us Californians can use cotton layers pretty much all year round . . .

  29. emeselle says:

    I love all variations of navy blue. I’m looking forward to seeing your stole.

  30. wendy gomez says:

    That is a great shade of blue; its one of my favorites also!

  31. Genie says:

    Enjoy your blog. The navy yarn is lucious!

  32. Eunice says:

    I like stoles too. Anne Hanson has several that I like.

  33. Sylvia Jordan says:

    Hello and would absolutely to love to have the book…thanks for sharing.

  34. Margie says:

    OMG…I didn’t even KNOW Vogue had a lace stitchionary until I just saw it on your blog! I LOVE their stitchionaries and imagine the lace one is even more beautiful than the others. Thanks for the generous giveaway!

  35. ellen says:

    what a pretty shade of blue!

  36. ~karen says:

    VERY cool book! Can’t wait to see the shawl.
    PS My bday is on the 18th. We won’t tell how many that I’ve had…

  37. Beverly says:

    Hello. Love the shade of blue you chose and thanks for the review.

  38. lisa says:

    Can’t wait to see your new stole! I’ve been contemplating one for the same reasons you did, just haven’t made a move. Lovely new book, too.

  39. Liz Petrella says:

    Looking forward to seeing the stole, and thanks for the give-away!

  40. Love the yarn! Can’t wait to see the stole when completed. Would love to win the book!!!

  41. Laurie says:

    Greetings and salutations! Love the blue yarn…oh, and the book, too! :-)

  42. Kyla says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for around 9 years and I never tire of seeing what you are doing. I especially enjoyed this post as I am from MN, learned to knit in Switzerland, and now live in NC where it is usually too hot to knit with wool! I try to anyways. Lots of AC is the trick and appreciating the 7 weeks of bracing cold weather.

  43. Deon says:

    First time visiting your blog, but it’s so interesting, it won’t be the last.
    P.S. Hello! for the entry to win the book. ;)

  44. Liz says:

    I am in Chicago and I FREEZE in the summer at the office due to the AC

  45. Kay says:

    I like a good book, if it’s knitting…even better!!

  46. Liz says:

    Hi Bonne Marie,

    Love the blue! And am looking forward to the stole pattern. And hey – a chance at a free book is great, too! See you here and on Ravelry!

  47. Lauren says:

    I’d like a book – I love your patterns :)

  48. Knitkitty says:

    What a gorgeous deep blue for the Elann Lara. That would make a lovely stole, in lace, of course! And yes, I love the Vogue books, so put me in the drawing, thanks!

  49. Hello! Love the color yarn you chose. Not too dark nor light, can’t wait to see it stitched up!

  50. Kay Verge says:

    Hello! Love the patterns and that colour of yarn! Loved the other Vogue books, so put me in the draw!

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